Sugar Gliders

sugar-glider

Having sugar gliders as pets has become popular over the past decade or so. So, are you too thinking of having these cool creatures as your pets? There is no denying that they are excessively cute, and just wonderful to look at, and hold in your hands. In a way, that is what affects peoples’ decisions the most. But, before you go out and buy a sugar glider, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Would a sugar glider be the right kind of pet for you? More importantly, would you be the right kind of owner for a sugar glider? When most people think about getting a pet, they usually consider cats or dogs, but there are a huge number of animals which can become fabulous pets, no matter whether you are single or have a family. Sugar gliders are ideal as pets in either situation. They are quite exotic in nature and very amiable as well. These animals get along fabulously with their owners and you will find yourself bonding with yours in no time. Sugar gliders try to spend as much time as they possibly can with their owners and they fit quite well into a pocket or bonding pouch for easy transportation At this point you may be wondering about the nature of a sugar glider, for not many people have heard about them. Well, they are exotic, cute looking and very friendly marsupials from Australia. They are also found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The sugar gliders are about a foot long from head to tail tip, with their bodies and tails being of roughly equal length. They are marsupials who rear their young in the mothers pouch just like a kangaroo, for their young are quite delicate and not quite ready to face the world. When fully grown up, sugar gliders are quite small and light animals, not weighing more 5 ounces. They also have a membrane which is called a pantagium which stretches from their ankles to their wrists. The pantagium allows them to go from tree branch to tree branch, using it like a glider. The membrane is quite flexible and covered in fur and is their most distinctive feature. Sugar gliders also have opposable thumbs, just like humans, enabling them to grab on to things like branches or tree trunks. They use the rest of their fingers to groom themselves. They are nocturnal creatures who sleep throughout the day, so you can carry them where ever you go and they can travel comfortably in your pocket – that’s why the nickname: “pocket pets”. Sugar gliders are also quite social animals requiring a lot of attention and grooming. If you can’t give them constant attention, you should buy another so that they can keep each other company. Adult sugar gliders however, find it hard to pair, so it is advisable to buy them in pairs. They should be kept in same-sex pairs or neutered or else they will breed uncontrollably. Sugar gliders have a life span of one to one and a half decades in captivity depending on their level of care.

Considering Sugar Gliders As Pets?

While you are considering adopting a pet, you also need to consider whether you will have the necessary time to look and care for it. If you find that you do not have the time to look after it properly or that you are not ready for that kind of responsibility then you need to rethink whether you should be getting a pet just for the sake of looking cool. Please remember that what for you is only a hobby, a small matter of keeping pets, is a matter of life and death for these little creatures. Their lives are going to depend on how YOU treat them as their owner. It becomes very important, you know, to know some facts about sugar gliders as pets at the outset before you go out to buy them. Ask yourself a couple of questions, and then decide….

  • Question of space – First of all, do you have sufficient space in your apartment to hold a cage large enough for sugar gliders? Mind you, they might be as large as hamsters, but have very different natures. They move about a lot, especially at night, so you need to have a large enough cage….and a large enough space to house that cage. Also, since they are tree-inhabiting creatures, in the wild that is, it is necessary to have tall cages, where they would be able to climb as they want. The best thing would be if you can have a log or thick stem, running through the cage, which they can use for play.
  • Giving them company – Sugar gliders are very sociable creatures. In fact, one of the best aspects of having them as pets is precisely that. They brighten up your life as nothing else can. However, this same aspect can also be a potential problem. You should ideally buy more than one, no problem even if they are of the same sex. If that is not possible, or you are unwilling to do that, make sure that you spend some time with your sugar glider. Two hours a day should do them a world of good.
  • Food – Sugar gliders, as the name makes clear, love to gorge on anything sweet. Indulge them, by all means, but make sure you control their intake. Also, fresh food is a must. You have to feed them everyday. You just cannot hope to leave them with a few days food and go off somewhere. Take them along in your pockets…. And trust me, that is a lovely experience.
  • Finally, children. Sugar gliders are not the best of all pets as far as kids are concerned. So, there is a commitment you have to make – making sure you are around to supervise while a child plays with the pet. This is to ensure that neither of them get hurt, or face problems in any way. Also, do not keep them in your kids’ room, as they are nocturnal creatures. This would mean hat they would keep the kids awake for a very long time at night.

However, everything said, there is no reason for you NOT to have a glider as your pet. They are great fun.